Despite a 60 per cent dip in trading volumes, India International Exchange (India INX) — the country’s first international exchange at GIFT City, Gandhinagar — is planning to incentivise staff members during the annual appraisal cycle, for the risk some of them are taking to come to office during the lockdown to keep the exchange and the data centre functional.
“Our operations are completely normal. We are operating three shifts and keeping our markets open for 22 hours. However, because of the lockdown, we cannot run 100 per cent of our operations without any person on ground. During the lockdown, we have brutally reduced our staff attending office in such a way that only a bare minimum of 3-4 persons, handling critical departments, come to the 20,000 square feet office in one shift,” said V Balasubramaniam, MD and CEO of India INX, the first international exchange to begin operations in January 2017 at the International Financial Services Centre within GIFT SEZ. India INX is a subsidiary of BSE Limited and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A total of 10-12 people attend office every day and the remaining 40-odd staff members work from home using technological solutions to handle operations remotely. “We are ensuring that people who come to office come in their private vehicles and we are giving them extra allowances for doing so. They are critical people for us and we are doing our bit… At the end of the year, when we do the performance appraisals we will definitely be looking at incentivising such people who are coming to office,” Balasubramaniam told The Indian Express.
The company is looking to incentivise its employees at a time when trading volumes have fallen sharply during the global sentiments surrounding Covid-19. “There has been a reduction in our business. The quantum of trading that used to happen has come down to 50-60 per cent… Earlier we used to do close to USD 2.5-3 billion every day on an average. Now we are doing roughly about USD one billion,” he said about the trading volumes,” the official said.
The Exchange began encouraging people to work from home from the first week of March 2020. “In the first week of March we had started encouraging people to work from home and we got about 50-60/of our staff to do so by giving them remote access. Still we needed about 30-40 per cent of our staff to come to the office because we had to operate our data centre and we had to run our day-to-day operations,” he said.
Balasubramaniam said that despite the need for the presence of a staggered staff at the exchange in GIFT City, INX India is discouraging employees with children or old parents at home from attending office. He said the health of the employees is monitored on a daily basis and they have to fill in online forms reporting about their daily health.
Currently, the Special Economic Zone at GIFT City which also houses the IFSC is the single largest IT/ITES cluster in Gujarat which is currently operational during the lockdown. “Almost all of the offices are having their employees working from home,” said a senior official of GIFT City. Apart from GIFT City, the other IT/ITES SEZs that are functional in Gujarat during the lockdown are TCS Gandhinagar, L&T SEZ at Vadodara, Ganesh SEZ, Electronic Park SEZ, Calica SEZ and Aqualine Properties Pvt Ltd SEZ at Gandhinagar.
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